The Times of Israel liveblogged Sunday’s events as they happened.
Iyad Harb, the police correspondent for the Kan public broadcaster’s Arabic station, is taken to hospital after he was assaulted by masked men in the flashpoint East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
Harb says the assailants who maced him and then beat him as he fell to the ground were speaking Hebrew.
“The masked Jewish youths asked me to stop filming and then they assaulted me with pepper spray or tear gas… then I fell to the ground and they hit me on the head and back with sticks, and kicked me,” Harb says.
He says police officers in the area did not come to assist despite him shouting for help.
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) May 29, 2022
Police say some 70,000 people participated in the Jerusalem Day Flag March today.
It adds that some 60 suspects who allegedly rioted or assaulted officers were arrested, and five officers were lightly hurt during scuffles.
KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says he has fired Kharkiv’s security services chief for “not working on the defense of the city” since the start of Russia’s invasion.
“I came, figured out, and fired the head of the Security Service of Ukraine of the [Kharkiv] region for the fact that he did not work on the defense of the city from the first days of the full-scale war, but thought only about himself,” Zelensky says in his daily national address.
He spoke after visiting the country’s war-ridden east for the first time since Russia’s invasion.
Two Israeli buses come under attack in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Isawiya, footage circulated on social media shows.
The video shows dozens of Palestinians hurling stones and setting one of the vehicles on fire.
According to the Kan public broadcaster, the buses entered the neighborhood by mistake.
Aside from the drivers, nobody was on the buses. There were also no reports of injuries.
⭕️ مصادر صحفية: "شبان فلسطينيون يهاجمون حافلتين للمستوطنين في قرية العيساوية بالقدس المحتلة". pic.twitter.com/3YtnchKltg
— مصدر الإخبارية (@msdrnews1) May 29, 2022
President Isaac Herzog spoke earlier today at a memorial for Israel’s fallen soldiers from the Six Day War and War of Attrition at Mount Herzl.
“For many of us, the period of the Six Day War and the War of Attrition combines our national and personal memories. My personal memory of the Six Day War is a childhood memory and my first memory, and my wife Michal’s first memory, of Israel’s wars. I was 6 years old. I remember the existential anxiety hanging in the air, the ditch we dug in the yard, and the assistance we gave our next-door neighbors,” Herzog says.
“The recent terror wave has caused us immense pain, but it does not weaken us. Today, too, we are ready and prepared for any scenario,” he says.
“We must say thanks to those who defend us day by day, hour by hour, in all the security forces and in the Israel Defense Forces,” Herzog adds.
Police say five officers were lightly hurt and required medical attention in various incidents throughout the day in Jerusalem, related to the controversial Flag March.
In a statement, police add that officers detained over 50 people suspected of rioting or assaulting officers during the day.
“Police forces continue to operate at this hour to maintain order and security in the area, with a determined and uncompromising response against any violence or disorder,” police say.
Israel remains on high alert, even as the Jerusalem Day Flag March ends at the Western Wall a short while ago, Channel 12 news reports.
The network cites security sources as saying that “the event is not yet over.”
Channel 12 also reports that Israel has been urging Egyptian mediators to request that Hamas not permit other terror groups in the Gaza Strip to fire on Israel.
Israel bolstered air defenses ahead of the controversial march, given that it was interrupted by rocket fire last year.
Clashes are reported between Jewish nationalists and Palestinians in the flashpoint Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem.
Footage from the area apparently shows Jewish Israelis hurling stones toward Palestinians.
— فلسطين بوست (@plespost) May 29, 2022
Other images show a car damaged by stones, and a dumpster on fire.
— وكالة شهاب للأنباء (@ShehabAgency) May 29, 2022
זירת ההתכתשות עוברת עכשיו לשייח ג’ראח. עימותים קשים בין יהודים לערבים ודיווחים על מספר פצועים משני הצדדים. pic.twitter.com/IWGar32JLA
— סולימאן מסוודה سليمان مسودة (@SuleimanMas1) May 29, 2022
Channel 13 news reports that three Jewish Israelis were hurt amid the clashes in Sheikh Jarrah, though this was not confirmed by medical officials.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has ordered law enforcement to “show zero tolerance for violence or provocations by extremists” at the Jerusalem Day Flag March, his office says.
Bennet singles out La Familia, an ultra-nationalist group of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team’s fan club.
“The vast majority of participants came to celebrate, but, unfortunately, there is a minority who have come to ignite the area, take advantage of the government’s strong position against Hamas threats, and try to force a fire,” Bennett’s office says.
“Therefore, any case of violence will be dealt with in full severity, including prosecution,” the statement adds.
Some nationalists at the march have chanted “Death to Arabs,” and other racist slogans.
The government formally acknowledges that the Homesh outpost is illegal and must eventually be dismantled, but asks the court to not get involved in the matter, in response to a petition by the left-wing organization Yesh Din.
Yesh Din filed its petition earlier this year, forcing the government to explain why it allowed settlers to establish a near-permanent presence in Homesh, despite that being explicitly illegal under the 2005 disengagement law, which ordered the eviction of the Israeli settlement as well as several others in the northern West Bank and all of those in the Gaza Strip.
Ahead of an impending court hearing, the state responds to the Yesh Din petition and acknowledges that the renewed outpost at Homesh is indeed illegal under Israeli law and that Israelis are barred from even visiting the site.
The state repeatedly asserts that security forces are working to prevent Israelis from reaching Homesh — indeed a number of checkpoints have been established there — but that some settlers circumvent those efforts by ascending to the site on foot. As a result, there is a group of a few dozen settlers present at the site at all times. The government fails to address the fact that security forces could go up to the site and remove those present, but choose not to.
The government says the issue has grown increasingly complicated in the past six months, following a terror attack just outside Homesh, in which one Israeli settler — Yehuda Dimentman — was shot dead, leading to increased tensions and violence in the area. Settler leaders and right-wing politicians have also called for the outpost to be retroactively legalized as a form of retaliation for the deadly attack.
In its response, the government says the site will eventually be fully dismantled, but has set no deadline for itself to complete that task, and instead states that the decision to enforce the law is made “at the discretion” of the defense minister and in response to “ongoing situational assessments that the defense minister is constantly making.”
Yesh Din, which opposes Israel’s ongoing military control of the West Bank, lambastes the response, calling for the government to dismantle the illegal outpost immediately.
“Despite the fact that the State of Israel acknowledges unequivocally that the Homesh settlement is an illegal outpost that must be evicted, it is not evicting it. The decision to choose the timing of the eviction is a mistake — Homesh must be evicted immediately regardless of any political consideration. Despite the state’s claim, it is important to note that military forces are allowing the presence of settlers in the Homesh settlement,” the organization says.
The Magen David Adom medical service says it has treated three Jewish Israelis who were hurt during clashes with Palestinians in and around Jerusalem’s Old City today.
None of them requires hospitalization.
Hundreds of Israel Defense Forces soldiers, including special forces, head to Cyprus to participate in the final week of a major month-long exercise.
According to the IDF, the drills — taking place jointly with the Cypriot military — are aimed at “improving the readiness of troops and their competence in operational missions deep in enemy territory,” referring to Lebanon.
Among other things, the drills will simulate evacuating wounded troops by helicopter, and dropping logistics equipment with heavy transport squadrons, according to the IDF.
The Chariots of Fire drill — scheduled to last through June 3 — is the military’s largest exercise in decades.
It has focused on sudden events erupting in multiple theaters at the same time, while focusing on fighting the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon.
Hundreds of IDF soldiers, including special forces, head to Cyprus to participate in the final week of the "Chariots of Fire" wide scale exercise. pic.twitter.com/BhISSgt3Mu
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) May 29, 2022
Israel Police estimate “over 50,000” are currently participating in the Flag March, a police spokesperson says.
The Palestinian Red Crescent says it has treated 40 people in and around the Old City since this morning, amid clashes on Jerusalem Day.
According to the emergency service, 15 of those injured have been taken to hospitals.
Earlier, Palestinians clashed with police on the Temple Mount, and with Jewish Israelis in the alleyways of the Old City.
No serious injuries have been reported.
Palestinians are clashing with Israeli troops at the Huwara checkpoint, near Nablus in the northern West Bank.
Footage from the scene shows Palestinians setting fire to tires and Israeli flags as soldiers respond with tear gas.
تغطية صحفية: "مواجهــــات بين شبان وقوات الاحتلال في حوارة". pic.twitter.com/NqribtEFLt
— شبكة قدس الإخبارية (@qudsn) May 29, 2022
Four Jewish teenagers taking part in the Flag March — three from the United States and one from Spain — stop to speak with The Times of Israel by the Old City’s Chain Gate.
All four are students at the Atzmona pre-military academy.
“We don’t want to fight. But if they fight, we’re gonna fight back,” says Yosef Ruderman, 19, who is originally from Colorado.
Asked how they felt about some of the chants at the march — “may your villages burn” and “Mohammad is dead” — the four say they disagreed with the violent slogans.
But Menahem Drew, 18, says the chants do not necessarily make him “feel uncomfortable.”
“You have to fight fire with fire,” he says.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid condemns far-right activists taking part in a nationalist march for Jerusalem Day.
“Lehava and La Familia aren’t Jerusalem Day. Lehava and Familia don’t deserve to carry the Israeli flag,” Lapid says in a statement, referring respectively to an anti-miscegenation group and a fan group of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer club.
“Lehava and La Familia are a disgrace that harm the joy of the people of Israel on Jerusalem Day,” Lapid adds.
Some 25,000 Jews are taking part in the Flag March, according to Hebrew media estimates, as the large crowds start making their way to Jerusalem’s Old City.
A number of young religious nationalist Jews taking part in the Flag March begin chanting “death to Arabs” as they near the Damascus Gate to Jerusalem’s Old City.
Jerusalem District Commander Doron Turgeman, who is standing nearby, appears to rebuke the group as the chanting continues.
Other marchers chant “may your villages burn” as they march through the Old City.
— סולימאן מסוודה سليمان مسودة (@SuleimanMas1) May 29, 2022
PHOENIX — Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is in Israel for five days of talks with political and business leaders.
Ducey arrived in Israel this morning, accompanied by the heads of the Arizona Commerce Authority and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Ducey spokesperson CJ Karamargin says the Republican governor’s meetings will focus on trade, water and border security. Ducey has worked over his seven years in office to boost economic ties with Israel, which has a similar arid climate and water and security issues.
He will meet with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and President Isaac Herzog as well as former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He also will meet with US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides.
Ducey will pay a Memorial Day visit to Israel’s 9/11 memorial in Jerusalem, meet with the city’s mayor and visit some historic sites.
It is Ducey’s third trip to Israel since he took office in 2015. He was the first Arizona governor to go there when he led an 8-day official trade mission during his first year as governor. He attended an international conference on water technology and met with business and government officials.
In 2019, he and his family traveled there for a combined business trip and family holiday vacation. He toured a commerce authority trade office that opened in Tel Aviv earlier that year.
Police intercept a drone that was flying a Palestinian flag above the Damascus Gate to Jerusalem’s Old City.
Video shows the drone being brought down to the ground.
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) May 29, 2022
Waving Israeli flags and chanting hymns, thousands of Jews gather around the Damascus Gate to prepare for the Flag March.
Several dozen cluster around the journalists’ area, yelling curses at the Palestinian correspondents filming on the scene.
“Mohammad is dead,” a Jewish marcher yells, while calling a journalist for official Palestine TV “a dog.”
Another marcher tries to soothe them before police rush in to push them away.
להמשיך או שהבנתם את העיקרון? pic.twitter.com/faxd4zOBMM
— نير حسون Nir Hasson ניר חסון (@nirhasson) May 29, 2022
A drone carrying a Palestinian flag is flown above the Damascus Gate to Jerusalem’s Old City, ahead of a planned march through the area by flag-waving Jewish nationalists.
דגל פלסטין מונף ברחפן מעל שער שכם. pic.twitter.com/bEBs2HHi0H
— סולימאן מסוודה سليمان مسودة (@SuleimanMas1) May 29, 2022
ISTANBUL — Turkey’s president tells journalists that Ankara remains committed to rooting out a Syrian Kurdish militia from northern Syria.
“Like I always say, we’ll come down on them suddenly one night. And we must,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says on his plane following a visit to Azerbaijan.
Without giving a specific timeline, Erdogan says that Turkey will launch a cross-border operation against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, which it considers a terrorist group linked to an outlawed Kurdish group that has led an insurgency against Turkey since 1984. That conflict with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK, has killed tens of thousands of people.
However, the YPG forms the backbone of US-led forces in the fight against the Islamic State jihadist group. American support for the group has infuriated Ankara and remains a major issue in their relations. Turkey considers the PKK and the YPG to be one and the same.
“All coalition forces, leading with the US, have provided these terror groups a serious amount of weapons, vehicles, tools, ammunition and they continue to do so. The US has given them thousands of trucks,” Erdogan says.
He warned that Turkey wouldn’t need anyone’s permission to fight terror.
“If the US is not fulfilling its duty in combating terror, what will we do? We will take care of ourselves,” he declares.
KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky visits the country’s war-ridden east for the first time since the Russian invasion, on a trip to Kharkiv region, from where Moscow retreated in recent weeks.
Zelensky’s office posts a video to Telegram of him wearing a bulletproof vest and being shown heavily destroyed buildings in Kharkiv and its surroundings.
“2,229 buildings have been destroyed in Kharkiv and the region. We will restore, rebuild and bring back life. In Kharkiv and all other towns and villages where evil came,” the post says.
Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai is given a briefing outside the Old City on the heightened security measures in place for Jerusalem Day.
“Up until now, everything is going as planned,” he tells a Channel 12 news reporter.
Shabtai is visiting the area ahead of the Flag March, which is slated to pass through the Damascus Gate before making its way through the Old City to the Western Wall.
Palestinians beat a man inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque whom they accuse of working as an informant for Israel.
According to Hebrew media reports, the man was attacked by a mob and interrogated for allegedly sending incriminating information about what was going on inside the mosque during clashes with police this morning.
Video footage shows the man with bloody cuts and bruises on his face saying he sent the info to a handler named Itzik.
Footage aired by Israeli television shows an Israeli youth tearing a Palestinian flag outside Damascus Gate ahead of a nationalist march marking Jerusalem Day.
The Channel 12 news report says that police intervened.
The over 6,000 Ukrainians treated at a field hospital that Israel set up in the war-torn country are “living witnesses to the fact that Israel did not stand by” while Ukraine was under attack, says Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.
“Relations between countries are not based only on interests but also on values,” Lapid adds during a ceremony at the Foreign Ministry honoring the staff of the Shining Star field hospital, which operated for six weeks in western Ukraine.
Lapid doesn’t mention Russia by name or condemn the invasion as he has in the past.
“We as a country have a moral obligation to stretch out our hand to Ukraine in the face of acts of butchery and cruel war crimes that are still being carried out now on their soil,” says Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, who also refrains from mentioning Russia by name.
A Ukrainian medical team from Lviv is slated to arrive in Israel in two weeks to receive training in emergency medicine, Lapid announces at the ceremony. He says that every foreign minister and foreign journalist he’s met with since then has brought up the hospital.
The hospital in Mostyska, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of Lviv, operated under the name “Kohav Meir” (“Shining Star”), a pun on the name of former Israeli prime minister Golda Meir, who was born in Ukraine and was the founder of the Foreign Ministry’s Agency for International Development Cooperation aid program, which led the project along with Sheba Medical Center.
While in operation, the hospital treated more than 6,000 patients and delivered at least one baby. Most of those treated were not war wounded, but rather civilians who may have struggled to receive care with Ukraine’s resources stretched thin by the invasion.
“There is a question that I must often ask myself as foreign minister, and that question is: How do I want Israel to look in the world?” says Lapid. “Now I have an answer. I want it to look like you.”
“Israel was, and remains, the only country in the world that sent an entire hospital into Ukraine.”
Some 2,600 Jews visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City today, police say as they gear up for the start of the Flag March.
The figure is an all-time record, according to Hebrew media reports.
A statement from police calls on participants to heed officers’ orders and refrain from any “displays of physical or verbal violence” during the Jerusalem Day march.
Police have closed a number of main roads and say several light rail stops in the vicinity of the Old City will be shuttered during the march.
A group of young Jews is dancing with Israeli flags at the Old City’s Damascus Gate ahead of a nationalist march later this afternoon to mark Jerusalem Day.
A large number of police are on hand as part of increased security measures for the Flag March.
Israel and Egypt are moving to strengthen economic ties and hope to reach $700 million in annual bilateral trade in the next three years, says the Economy and Industry Ministry.
Under a new proposed plan, the two countries will jointly help develop the Nitzana crossing, where commercial trade is handled, as a regional logistics center and a joint employment area; engage in R&D cooperation; develop joint projects in the area of green energy; and increase the number of direct flights. The plan will also see Israel increase imports of food and fresh fish from Egypt and export agriculture solutions and technologies.
The two countries are targeting annual trade (excluding tourism and natural gas exports) at about $700 million by 2025, up from about $300 million in 2021, according to the ministry.
Most Israeli exports to Egypt are in the textile sector, with the rest in areas like chemicals, rubber and plastics and other materials. Israel imports agricultural and food products from Egypt, as well as chemicals, electrical machinery, rubber and plastics, and minerals and fuels, the ministry says.
Israel and Egypt signed a peace agreement in 1979 but relations have been frosty at times. The countries maintain close security ties.
Israeli air defenses have been placed on heightened readiness amid concerns of a possible Iranian revenge attack using drones, according to the Ynet news site.
The report notes the recent assassination of an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps colonel that has been attributed to Israel and a reported strike on the Parchin military base.
Palestinians and Jewish Israelis clash in Jerusalem’s Old City near Damascus Gate. Pepper gas and flying chairs fill the air as some run shouting from the scene, clutching their eyes.
At least one of those spraying mace appears to be a Jew planning to participate later in the Flag March for Jerusalem Day.
— نير حسون Nir Hasson ניר חסון (@nirhasson) May 29, 2022
Police have arrested three teenagers in Haifa on suspicion of throwing rocks at a Chabad vehicle for playing songs about Jerusalem.
The driver was unhurt and no damage was caused to the vehicle.
Police say they are considering whether to request the minors — who are aged 14, 15 and 16 — be kept in custody when they appear before the Haifa Magistrate’s Court tomorrow.
A leading ultra-Orthodox rabbi has expressed opposition to today’s nationalist march marking Jerusalem Day and to visits by Jews to the Temple Mount, the Walla news site reports.
According to the report, Rabbi Gershon Edelstein made the remarks last night in a meeting with lawmakers from Degel HaTorah, which he is considered the spiritual leader of, asking why the participants “don’t understand that this is unnecessary and dangerous.”
MK Moshe Gafni, who heads the Haredi faction, denies Edelstein made the remarks.
Degel HaTorah is part of United Torah Judaism, a member of former premier Benjamin Netanyahu’s opposition bloc of right-wing and religious parties.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett appears to comment on the assassination of a senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps officer that has been attributed to Israel.
Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodaei was allegedly involved in plotting terror attacks overseas, including against Israelis, before he was shot dead in Tehran last week.
“For many years, the Iranian regime has used terror against Israel and the region through emissaries, but the head of the octopus — Iran itself — for whatever reason has enjoyed immunity. As we’ve said before, the era of immunity for the Iranian regime is over,” he says during the weekly cabinet meeting.
“Whoever funds, arms or dispatches terrorists will suffer a heavy price,” the premier adds.
He also denounces Iran for violently dispersing a protest over a deadly building collapse.
The atmosphere in the Old City is tense, with Jewish religious nationalists, young Palestinian men and Israeli police engaging in occasional brawls.
“I will take one revenge for both my eyes against Palestine — damn them,” sing Jewish teenagers, modifying a Biblical verse sung by Samson about the Philistines.
Another advises his friends: “The next time you see Arabs running, stick out your legs and trip them.”
Palestinians run by, some throwing bottles at Jewish Israelis standing near the Chain Gate to the Temple Mount. The Israeli teens give chase, with the police in hot pursuit.
A young Palestinian man pushes a police officer. Several shove back, occasionally hitting him with clubs as he drags his feet while walking away.
Other Palestinians scuffle with Israelis farther down the alleyways winding to the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Plainclothes security officers dot the alleyways. Many shops and stands are closed and deserted.
“Every year they come here and provoke us. But this year is worse. It feels like a challenge,” says a Palestinian bystander, who declines to be identified.
Israeli marchers say they’re the ones under attack.
“They call us a provocation. But if I tell you I’m provoked by you breathing, how is that any different,” says Ori, a Jerusalem resident in his 20s.
Ori says that local Palestinians have repeatedly provoked, cursed and aggressed against the marchers. He denies that the marchers act violently, but says that if any do “it’s an exception that doesn’t match the rule.”
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett calls on those taking part in the Flag March this afternoon to behave “responsibly and respectfully” as he wishes Israelis a happy Jerusalem Day.
“Raising the Israeli flag in the capital of Israel goes without saying and therefore we were clear about the matter from the start,” he says.
Police arrest three people during clashes with officers at the flashpoint Damascus Gate to Jerusalem’s Old City.
Rocks and bottles were hurled at officers, according to police, who say order has since been restored.
A bodyguard for opposition Likud MK Miri Regev was hurt after being struck by a rock. Police say he was lightly hurt and taken for medical treatment.
The arrests come after 18 people were arrested early today in the Old City and Temple Mount on suspicion of rioting and assaulting officers and civilians, amid heightened tensions in the area surrounding Jerusalem Day.
Jordan’s foreign ministry denounces Israel for allowing far-right MK Itamar Ben Gvir and other Jewish “extremists” to visit the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City.
“The Foreign Ministry spokesperson demanded of Israel that it cease all practices and violations of the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” the ministry says in statement.
The Jordanians also condemn the “provocative, escalatory” Flag March planned for later today, warning it could lead to an eruption of violence.
The Ministerial Committee on Legislation decides to grant coalition lawmakers the freedom to vote their conscience on a controversial bill that would outlaw the display of enemy flags — including the Palestinian flag — at universities or government institutions.
Although Palestinian flags have sometimes been prohibited or confiscated by police, they are not illegal. The move, which comes amid heightened tensions ahead of this afternoon’s nationalist Flag March for Jerusalem Day, follows criticism of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev after Palestinian flags were displayed during a recent rally at the school in Beersheba.
The bill, sponsored by opposition Likud MK Eli Cohen, is expected to come for its preliminary vote on Wednesday.
A spokesperson for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says Israel is “playing with fire” by allowing “settlers to desecrate holy sites” on Jerusalem Day.
“[Israel] is disregarding international law and considers itself above the law,” presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh says, according to the official WAFA news agency.
Abu Rudeineh calls for “the international community, especially the US administration, to assume their responsibilities regarding what is taking place.”
An indictment is filed against Rashid Rashak, an East Jerusalem man accused of leading a Hamas cell that allegedly planned several terror attacks, including the assassination of far-right MK Itamar Ben Gvir.
Prosecutors ask the court to keep Rashak, 22, in custody until the end of legal proceedings.
He is the fourth person to be charged in the case. Another suspect has yet to be indicted.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett denounces comments by a prominent ultra-Orthodox rabbi who called a pair of government ministers “worse than the Nazis.”
“Even at the height of heated debates – we will not compare our brothers to the most awful oppressors. We must guard our tongue from evil,” Bennett says at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.
“We are brothers,” he adds, without mentioning Rabbi Meir Mazuz by name.
The premier also comments on Jerusalem Day, which is being marked today.
“On Jerusalem Day, we celebrate not only the unity of our capital but also the unity of our people. On this day, we pledge: never again will Jerusalem be divided, never again will be the people of Israel be divided,” he says.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz denounces comments made by a senior Haredi rabbi who described Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman as “worse than the Nazis,” saying his remarks bordered on Holocaust denial.
“Jerusalem was taken from us because of senseless hatred, and was united with our strength and unity,” Gantz says, citing a rabbinic teaching that the Second Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed because of senseless hatred between Jews of the time.
“Today of all days we must remember the importance of senseless love,” Gantz says.
Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu hits out at Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg for criticizing today’s nationalist Flag March for Jerusalem Day as a “provocation.”
“Within the current government, there are those who think that the flags of Israel should not be hoisted here, in the heart of Jerusalem. A minister in the government says that the parade of Israeli flags in Jerusalem is a provocation,” Netanyahu says at Jerusalem’s City Hall while announcing the launch of the Knesset’s “Jerusalem Lobby.”
Netanyahu compares recent incidents in which Palestinian national and political flags were waved across Israeli cities to today’s nationalist flag march.
“Do you understand? Waving Palestinian Liberation Organization flags in Jerusalem, Lod, Tel Aviv, Beersheba – it is not a provocation. Burning the Israeli flag on the Temple Mount — it is not a provocation. But waving blue and white flags in the heart of Jerusalem is a provocation,” Netanyahu adds.
Public display of the Palestinian flag is legal under Israeli law, though police have at times prohibited this.
Police say they have removed a group of Jews from the Temple Mount for violating the rules at the holy site in Jerusalem’s Old City.
An unspecified number of group members have been detained, according to police. A statement from the force doesn’t specify what rule the visitors violated, but the group’s removal comes after a number of Jewish religious nationalists waved Israeli flags on the Temple Mount.
The statement also says numerous Palestinians were arrested after clashing with police on the Temple Mount.
Police estimate some 1,800 non-Muslims visited the site this morning. The Temple Mount will again be open to non-Muslims this afternoon.
Jewish religious nationalists wave the Israeli flag during a morning visit at the flashpoint Temple Mount site as tensions run high in advance of the Jerusalem Day procession.
The Hamas terror group has previously signaled that waving of the Israeli flag at the holy site, which Muslims revere as the Al-Aqsa Mosque, could trigger a violent response.
“The resistance will take down those flags with their rockets, if Al-Aqsa’s defenders [in Jerusalem] do not do so with their feet,” Hamas official Mushir al-Masri said earlier this week.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque is Islam’s third-holiest site and the holiest site for Jews as the site of both Biblical temples. Under the fragile status quo, non-Muslims may visit the compound but not pray there.
Palestinians currently at the sanctuary chant slogans at the Jewish visitors.
“With spirit and blood we’ll sacrifice for you, O Aqsa,” some yell.
דגלי ישראל בהר הבית pic.twitter.com/a91nygGNE6
— חיים גולדברג (@haim_goldberg) May 29, 2022
Meretz MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi, who a little over a week ago gave the coalition whiplash with her surprise resignation and rapid return to the political alliance, calls today’s planned Flag March through the Jerusalem Old City’s Muslim Quarter a “provocation” that could lead to “escalation” of the tense security situation surrounding the capital over the past months.
“The Flag March in Jerusalem, with its current course, is a provocation to the feelings of Muslims, and it could lead to an escalation that we do not need,” writes Rinawie Zoabi in an Arabic-language Twitter message.
“Al-Aqsa is a sacred right of the Arab and Islamic nation, and on this basis this issue should be addressed,” she adds.
Israeli officials have repeatedly tried to dispel false rumors that the planned parade route includes the Temple Mount site.
KATHMANDU — A passenger plane is missing in Nepal with 22 people on board, its airline says.
The Twin Otter aircraft took off from the western town of Pokhara at 9:55 a.m. (0410 GMT) but soon lost contact with air traffic control.
“A domestic flight bound for Jomsom from Pokhara has lost contact,” Sudarshan Bartaula, spokesman for Tara Air, tells AFP.
He says there were 19 passengers on board and three crew members.
Phanindra Mani Pokharel, a spokesman at the Ministry of Home Affairs, says two helicopters have been deployed for a search operation.
But he says visibility is low.
“The bad weather is likely to hamper the search operation. The visibility is so poor that nothing can be seen,” Pokharel says.
Jomsom is a popular trekking destination in the Himalayas about 20 minutes by plane from Pokhara, which lies west of Kathmandu.
As the tense Jerusalem Day morning continues, Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhum says: “The resistance cannot stand idly by in the face of the occupation’s abuses.”
“[Israel] seems to have not understood the messages of the resistance well,” Barhoum tells the Lebanese al-Mayadeen network.
Minor clashes took place at the flashpoint Temple Mount this morning between Israeli police and Palestinian rioters.
Hundreds of Jews plan to ascend to the hilltop to celebrate Jerusalem Day, in which the holy site was brought under Israeli control.
“The resistance has established clear equations that Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa, and Palestinian blood are red lines,” Barhoum says.
But Barhoum refrains from issuing any concrete threat or ultimatum, as Hamas did last year in the run up to the war.
The Israel Defense Forces says it received a report of shooting toward an Israeli vehicle at Zif Junction, south of Hebron overnight.
This morning, troops found several shell casings in the area. The IDF says it suspects the incident was a shooting attack.
The driver was unharmed in the incident, and no damage was caused to his vehicle.
Troops have launched a manhunt for the gunmen.
“Roadblocks have been set up near Yatta, a village near the junction, and vehicle inspections are being carried out in the area,” the IDF says.
Responding to a leading ultra-orthodox rabbi who said government ministers are “worse than the Nazis,” Foreign Minister Yair Lapid notes that his grandfather was murdered in the Holocaust and his father faced death in a ghetto.
Addressing Rabbi Meir Mazuz of the Kisse Rahamim Yeshiva in Bnei Brak, Lapid writes on twitter “my only answer to your remarks is that I love all of the Jewish people and wish Rabbi Mazuz a happy Jerusalem Day, a day of unit and love for Israel.”
Mazuz said Saturday of the government “They are traitors to their people, they hate their people. They’re worse than the Nazis — the Nazis love their own people; but [the ministers] hate their people.”
A number of Jewish visitors begin to arrive at the Temple Mount compound, including far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir.
Ben Gvr says that it is his right to go to the site.
“Throughout the years every time we live here they say it upsets them. So what, we should go back to Europe?” says the provocateur lawmaker.
The Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif, is the holiest site for Jews and site of the third holiest shrine in Islam. It is the emotional epicenter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and tensions there helped ignite the 11-day Gaza war in May.
Under an informal nut increasingly frayed arrangement known as the status quo, Jews are allowed to visit the site but not pray there.
Police are said to believe they can contain any escalation in the security situation caused by Ben Gvir’s visit to the compound. A few dozen Palestinians have barricaded themselves inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque and have thrown stones at police officers stationed outside.
Hundreds of worshipers attend morning prayers at the Western Wall to mark Jerusalem Day.
The prayers pass without major incident.
Jerusalem Day, which marks Israel’s conquest of the Old City and East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War, is celebrated mainly by national-religious Jews.
Most prominently, youths march through the Old City for the contentious Flag March.
Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion says the city is generally remaining calm, with the disturbances currently contained to the Temple Mount where they involve a minority of people.
“We are dealing with disturbances on the Temple Mount. I am currently at the [Old City’s] Jaffa Gate and the silence prevails — the Temple Mount is the point where the disturbances end, and it is a minority of people,” Lion tells the Kan public broadcaster.
Dozens of worshipers have barricaded themselves inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount amid rocketing tensions on Jerusalem Day. Some of them have thrown rocks at Israeli troops stationed outside the building.
The mayor’s comments come as the controversial Jerusalem Day Flag March is set to be held in the Old City later in the day.
The annual parade does not enter the Temple Mount, but Jewish visitors are being permitted to enter the compound on Sunday morning.
The Israel Defense Forces says troops detained two Palestinians suspected of involvement in terror activities in Danaba, a neighborhood of the West Bank city of Tulkarem.
The IDF does not elaborate on the suspicions against the pair.
They have been taken to be questioned by the Shin Bet security agency.
Undercover Border Police officer lightly injured, 3 Palestinians wounded in overnight West Bank clashes
Police say that an undercover Border Police officer was lightly hurt when an explosive device was thrown toward troops during an operation in the Dheisheh refugee camp, south of Bethlehem.
According to reports, three Palestinians were also wounded in the clashes with Israeli troops. There are no further details on their conditions.
In a statement, police say the undercover officer was involved in the operation at the home of a suspect.
An explosive device was thrown at the Israeli troops — one of them was lightly injured by shrapnel and taken to Jerusalem’s Shaare Tsedek Medical Center for treatment.
When the troops left the refugee camp, police say they were attacked by rioters who threw rocks and more explosive devices.
“Hits were identified at a number of terrorists who hurled explosives,” police say.
Police do not say if the suspect was detained.
Police say “a small group of rioters” barricaded inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque is throwing “large rocks” toward Israeli officers stationed outside.
Police say in a statement that apart from the disturbance at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Temple Mount is generally calm.
The statement says that Jewish visitors are set to begin arriving at the compound, and that officers are located at a number of locations across the site.
Far-right MK Itamar Ben Gvir is among the Jewish visitors expected at the site this morning.
The planned visit is set to take place just hours ahead of the controversial Jerusalem Day Flag March. Hamas fired a barrage of rockets at Jerusalem during last May’s march, sparking an 11-day Gaza-Israel war.
Police announce that a number of streets in Jerusalem will be closed ahead of the contentious Flag March.
The following routes will be closed to traffic: Bezalel, King George, Agron, Yitzhak Kariv, King Solomon, Bar Lev, Sultan Suleiman and Hativat Yerushalayim.
— בני כבודי (@benikvodi) May 29, 2022
Dozens of worshipers have barricaded themselves inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount amid rocketing tensions on Jerusalem Day, according to Hebrew-language media reports.
There are concerns that they may be preparing to hurl stones and other items at Jewish visitors as they head onto the compound on Sunday morning.
According to the Kan public broadcaster, police locked the doors to the mosque and there has been sporadic throwing of stones at officers.
Police are preparing to enter the holy site to disperse the crowd, Channel 12 news says.
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) May 29, 2022
The reports come hours ahead of the controversial Jerusalem Day flag march through the Old City later in the day.
The annual march, set for Sunday afternoon, does not enter the Temple Mount, but Jewish visitors are being permitted to enter the compound on Sunday morning. The mount is the holiest place in Judaism as the site of the biblical temples, and Al-Aqsa Mosque atop the mount is Islam’s third holiest shrine. Jews are permitted to visit the mount but not to pray there.
Far-right MK Itamar Ben Gvir defends his decision to visit the Temple Mount hours ahead of the controversial Jerusalem Day Flag March, despite threats from the Hamas terror group.
“It increases my motivation. What happened if Hamas threatened to close down the State of Israel? Today it is the Temple Mount, tomorrow the Nablus Gate, and then maybe also Jaffa, Lod and Tel Aviv,” the lawmaker tells the Kan public broadcaster.
Police reportedly believe that while the extremist MK’s visit to the site could lead to a significant escalation, any consequent clashes could be contained and controlled.
Ben Gvir, seen by many as a provocateur, last visited the holy site in March. His previous visits to sensitive sites, including the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah last spring, have served to ratchet up tensions and fighting.
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